In just a few months, cannabis edibles will be out in the market. The American Culinary Federation predicts that cannabis-infused food will be the top trend in 2019, introducing a new dining experience.
MacNeil, a specialist in molecular cooking in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, has a little tip to make canna-chefs perfect the art of cooking with cannabis strains. “You should only use legally produced cannabis to ensure it’s clean and safe. People don’t scrutinize cannabis the way they scrutinize food, but they should,” he said to the cannabis-based web portal, Leafly. Usually, dried and cured cannabis is used in kitchens. But fresh, raw cannabis not only lends more flavour but also has a host of benefits.
New research puts Cannabis and Hemp at par with the superfoods kale, avocado, spinach and broccoli, from a nutritional perspective. Dr. William Courtney, MD, a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, the International Association of Cannabis as Medicine, the Society of Clinical Cannabis and the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, says that Marijuana should not be treated as a medicine for specific ailments but as a dietary essential.
Raw cannabis infused in foods activates the brain’s cannabinoid system, more effectively by releasing antioxidants that flush out damaged cells in the body. Dried cannabis can do the same, Courtney says, but raw cannabis adds more flavour because of fresh terpenes in the flowers.
Aromatic Terpenes in Fresh Cannabis
Cannabis strains come in several aromatic varieties, just like wine grapes. Citrus, lavender, mint, mango, banana, berry and pine are just some of them. Cannabis terpenes are responsible for the different aromas. They combine with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) to produce the distinctive flavours that leave you feeling light and satiated after a deliciously infused meal.
Health Benefits of Raw Cannabis
Nutrient-Rich: Fresh, raw cannabis is loaded with nutrients, fibers, proteins, balanced proportions of essential amino acids and antioxidants to boost the immune system. Raw marijuana has a well balanced ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids that together promote healthy cell regeneration, boost the immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer.
Inhibits Cancer Cell-Growth: In its raw state, THC in cannabis is not psychoactive. This means that all the nutrients in the plant will be well utilized by the body without leaving you high. Nutrients like Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD-A) and Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A) in cannabis are powerful healers that treat serious ailments like cancer. CBD-A prohibits the COX-2 enzyme that is found in aggressive breast tumours. A recent study conducted at Hiroshima International University in 2017 January, researchers found that the CBD-A in the plant also prohibited cancer metastasis. THC-A is said to be neuroprotective, antispasmodic, and an effective pain-reliever.
Benefits of Chlorophyll: Much of the chlorophyll in the cannabis plant is lost during the drying and curing process. This means that much of the dietary benefits of chlorophyll are lost with it, such as rejuvenating the body at the cellular level. Chlorophyll prevents DNA damage, detoxifies the body, reduces inflammation and increases iron absorption.
Increased Aroma and Flavour: Raw cannabis is full of the terpenes that are lost during the drying and curing process as well. Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavour during consumption and are also loaded with medicinal properties. They have antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer properties.
How to Consume Raw Cannabis
Now that we are familiar with the numerous health benefits of raw cannabis, it is important to know the best ways to consume them to maximize benefits. Here’s what the canna-chefs suggest:
Fresh Juices: Weed can be a bit bitter on the tongue so the best way to enjoy the nutrient-rich properties of the plant is by blending it with fruits and beverages to enhance the taste. Add a hint of spice such as nutmeg for more flavour.
Refreshing Salads: Chop up your regular salad greens, fruits and raw vegetables with a hint of cannabis for refreshing, health-enhancing salads that don’t leave you high unlike weed edibles.
Cooking with cannabis needs a practiced hand to find out the correct amounts to bring out the flavour. Experts recommend no more than 2.5 mg of bud for those who are venturing into cannabis-infused fare for the first time. It’s better to try the cuisine in a restaurant noted for cannabis foods or take tips from a chef before you start experimenting in the kitchen yourself. Bon appetit!